Thomas graduates - at age 79

Thomas Glenny.
Thomas Glenny.

Portadown’s Thomas Glenny adds a whole new meaning to the term ‘mature student’ - after graduating at the tender age of 79.

He was one of 600 successful students at the Southern Regional College at a major ceremony to mark their formal graduation.

Thomas received the special ‘Part-time Student of the Year’ award from the School of Applied Science and Academic Studies after completing an Associate BA in English and History.

“When I found myself with time to spare after my retirement, I undertook the three-year course in something I had always wanted, and waited, to do.

“I particularly enjoyed the comparison of texts from literary giants such as Dickens and Marx to the history of the time and how those thinkers were responding to events such as the Industrial Revolution,” Thomas said.

Thomas completed the college’s Associate Bachelor’s Degree one day per week over the past three years.

With a lifelong interest in English and History, he never had the time or opportunity to study.

When he retired from his job as a civil engineer, he at last had the time to spare to widen his knowledge and explore the subjects further.

Thomas enjoyed meeting new people and the found the discussions and debate in class very stimulating.

To begin with he found it difficult to get to grips with the computer and technology but persevered and learned many new skills.

He is a member of several local historical societies and he finds the skills and knowledge from the Degree has enabled him to be better equipped and more confident in handling the various research projects he is involved in.

Course lecturer Liz Finnegan said: “Tommy is a sterling example of someone who is committed to lifelong learning.

“His consistent attendance on the course reflects his dedication to his studies and his love of the Arts and Humanities. He also had a first-class attitude, which resulted in a first-class mark in his final year dissertation.”

The event recognised success across a range of foundation degrees, higher level diplomas and professional qualifications sdelivered at Sthe SRC’s campuses in Armagh, Banbridge, Newry, Lurgan and Portadown.